Tarpon Springs, Little Greece in Florida

A visit to Tarpon Springs just North of St. Pete is like a step back into old Greece right here on the Florida Gulf Coast

Tarpon Springs, like a waterfront in Athens

Tarpon Springs, like a waterfront in Athens

There are many places in the state of Florida that are unique and a pleasure to visit.  Some people love the Orlando area with the theme parks and all the attractions it has to offer.  We have friends who will travel to Key West every year, I must admit I too like the Keys.  To me there is nothing better then the laid back atmosphere that you get only there.

Forty years ago I used to like visiting Miami but I must say it is a little too busy for me now.  Too many people and too commercial for me.  There is one town that I think if you have never visited you should consider.  Tarpon Springs is a small community on the Gulf Coast north of Tampa and St. Petersburg.  It is a community better known as little Athens.  Many Greeks live there and believe me it is like stepping into Greece.

As a child we would visit Tarpon Springs at least once a year.  Dad would spend most of the day at the coffee shops talking Greek with all the locals.  We would visit relatives and friends and of course visit the Greek Orthodox church while there.

My grandfather came to this country in 1912 with his destination being Tarpon Springs.  He was going to build sponge boats there.  He visited Fernandina and met my grandmother, well the rest is history.  He moved to Amelia Island and set up shop and family.

If you visit Tarpon Springs be sure to spend time at the docks.  Enjoy the sights and smells of the sponge industry.  There are sponge diving boats that you can go out on and watch divers go down and gather sponges.  You will want to visit the bakery while there for all the good Greek pastries and breads.  The restaurants are absolutely the best.  Next time you are looking for a weekend get away give Tarpon Springs a try.

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